Meet Bill Howland, an Embedded Hardware Engineer who has been on SightLine Applications’ hardware engineering team in Portland for the past five years. As a native Oregonian and Portlander, Bill counts himself lucky to live in an area where he can pursue his passion for electronics and ride his bike to work when the weather cooperates.
Bill’s interest in electronics began when he was 12 years old, taking apart audio systems and trying to build or repair his way to a better version. So when it came time to choose his career, electronics was naturally the ONLY choice! While still in college, Bill’s first job was working for BASF Temperature Sensing (formerly Engelhard Corporation), where he progressed from Electronic Technician to Engineering Technician and eventually Hardware Engineer. There he oversaw the design, assembly and testing of optical pyrometers for the RTP Radiance and Vulcan CVD systems made by Applied Materials, Inc. (world-wide manufacturing of silicon wafer processors). At times Bill was the entire manufacturing team. Bill remained at BASF for 13 years, had a brief period of home-based contract work, and then came to work at SightLine.
When asked what he appreciates most about his work at Sightline, Bill replied that, “SightLine allows employees to grow, learn, and ‘wear multiple hats’ so things stay interesting!” His outlook on learning and and creating solutions has earned him the reputation among his teammates as “THE go-to electrical genius at SightLine who many folks rely on for troubleshooting hardware, cabling, power automation, etc.” – says colleague Charlie Hayward
His personal interests have remained focused on music and his knowledge of musical trivia is at this time unrivaled! He continues to refurbish and repair vintage audio equipment and antique radios as a hobby, and his quirky humor shows clearly with his answer to the question, “Who would you choose to have dinner with and what dish would you share?” Bill’s #1 choice was to have dinner with Bugs Bunny at the LOOOONG table he shared with Yosemite Sam, and “we would have Bugs’ “Hasenpfeffer” recipe” (carrots!).
SightLine Applications creates onboard video processing software that is then typically integrated as an embedded system into high-end optronics systems (gimbals, UAVs, UGVs, PTZs, and more!). Bill Howland is part of the team that designs the electronic subsystems to interface various cameras to SightLine’s systems.
Founded in 2007, SightLine has offices in both Hood River and Portland. The two offices help with the recruitment needs that require a variety of backgrounds and areas of expertise. With around 40 employees in the two offices, this small company has been a core member of the GTA since the Alliance was created.